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Author Topic: Retroarch  (Read 7609 times)

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Koffdrop

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Retroarch
« Topic Start: June 29, 2015, 04:03:45 AM »
Shamelessly inspired by
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=637928

WARNING
If you don't care for
  • old games
  • emulation
  • manually editing .cfg files
  • very fiddly setups
  • gits and forks and revisions
Then Retroarch probably isn't for you.

Retroarch is a front-end/gui for the Libreto emulation system. Libreto is platform agnostic and open-source.

Big advantages to this is that:

  • It can be run on nearly any platform you can think of
  • It emulates a very large array of platforms
  • Each emulated platform can be configured independently
  • Each emulated platform can be developed independently
  • The customisation options are vast
  • After starting Retroarch, everything can be controlled via a controller - changing platforms, selecting games, configuration - everything

One thing it's particularly smart at is post-processing effects. This includes shaders that go waaaay beyond bi-linear filtering and include overlays/bezels for platforms (and even for individual games - if you want to go that far).

Many of the post-processing effects are there to use the extra power today's PCs have to degrade the image quality back to CRT days (click image for full effect):

Or to go even further:

(I have this running on my 40" LCD TV, the border, the emulated screen within it - each LCD pixel giving a hint of shadow and just the right amount of blur as the screen moves)

Personally, I've often wanted to go back to some PS1 and N64 games but they've aged terribly and pin-sharp clarity really makes them off-putting.

I've started re-playing Xenogears on PS1 with a great NTSC screen filter that degrades the image to the perfect amount. I can sit on my sofa, using my Wii U pro-pad and all is good.

Read more at the NeoGAF thread (most questions are answered there)

Get it at http://www.libretro.com/

VERY good fun for tinkering - but it's very off-putting if you want a pick-up-and-play emulator. It's definitely not that, but once over that hump it offers more than any I've seen.



Miskie, I'd be amazed if you hadn't already been tinkering with this.  ;)

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #1: June 29, 2015, 04:27:16 AM »
I'm loving the look of Super Mario Land.

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #2: June 29, 2015, 05:05:05 AM »
That actually using one of the shaders that it comes with. So all you'd need to do is:

1) Have the ROM
2) Download, unzip and run Retroarch
3) Select the GB 'core' to switch Retroarch into emulating a GB
4) Settings > Shaders > Handheld > DMG
5) Load Content > Select the rom you want to run

Game will start and look like it does in the screenshot.

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #3: June 29, 2015, 02:06:39 PM »
And here's Xenogears running with a custom border and a shader that adds a lovely degree of NTSC CRT fuzziness to proceedings


(Note that the emulation fits the central space of the border perfectly, the PlayStation 1 runs the game in a slight window that's smaller than 100% height of the screen.)

Offline martTM

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #4: June 30, 2015, 02:48:15 AM »
Man, I wish I could be arsed to faff with this, it looks great. My current emu setup works fine though... don't think it's worth messing with.

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #5: June 30, 2015, 08:05:26 AM »
Yeah, it is a lof of faff. I initially looked at it for an hour and gave up,  three months later and another stab at it it's started to make sense.

Offline Garwoofoo

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #6: July 02, 2015, 05:43:51 PM »
Looks great.  Can you add the subtle curve that CRT screens give to an image?  I'm liking the look of those filters but they still don't look quite right.  (Mario Land on the other hand looks perfect).

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #7: July 03, 2015, 07:08:20 AM »
Yes, you can add the CRT curvature. There's a bunch of shaders that it comes with which already include this.

You can just select a pre-made shader setting or, if you really want to go wild, program your own.

The lengthy NeoGAF thread linked at the start my first post has many examples of different shaders and links to repositories on where to get them.

I'm finding that now I've got my head around how RetroArch wants to do things, it makes more sense and the time invested in configuring things results in a great system. Very nerdily gratifying.

Offline Samor

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #8: July 13, 2015, 07:20:10 AM »
That actually using one of the shaders that it comes with. So all you'd need to do is:

1) Have the ROM
2) Download, unzip and run Retroarch
3) Select the GB 'core' to switch Retroarch into emulating a GB
4) Settings > Shaders > Handheld > DMG
5) Load Content > Select the rom you want to run

Game will start and look like it does in the screenshot.

That looks amazing  :)

Offline physicianvii

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #9: July 20, 2015, 10:02:59 PM »
Retroarch is a pain and ass-backwards.

mednafen is the best for all those consoles you're playing those games on.

Also, filters are horrible.  Horrible.

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #10: July 21, 2015, 03:04:20 AM »
Ermm... OK.

Offline physicianvii

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #11: July 21, 2015, 10:38:33 PM »
Seriously!

It has a labyrintine-like maze of settings and options that makes it a chore to find anything and the interface to do so is hideous.  mednafen is a simple commandline-based (with optional frontends available for those amateurs* scared of the commandline) emulator with a dirt simple button-based configuration system and a help screen one button away.

And I don't think fuzzing up a damn game is the best thing to do.  If you think an old game needs to look like ancient 1980s TVs or with some vanity border to make the game smaller to be "authentic", please don't :)

*Which is probably sadly 97% of Windows users.  Come on guys, it's essentially DOS.

Koffdrop

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #12: July 22, 2015, 05:38:37 AM »
Well, I did mention the following in the opening post of this topic:
WARNING
If you don't care for
  • old games
  • emulation
  • manually editing .cfg files
  • very fiddly setups
  • gits and forks and revisions
Then Retroarch probably isn't for you.
It sounds like Retroarch probably isn't for you.

Offline Samor

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #13: July 22, 2015, 06:54:21 AM »
Seriously!

It has a labyrintine-like maze of settings and options that makes it a chore to find anything and the interface to do so is hideous.  mednafen is a simple commandline-based (with optional frontends available for those amateurs* scared of the commandline) emulator with a dirt simple button-based configuration system and a help screen one button away.

And I don't think fuzzing up a damn game is the best thing to do.  If you think an old game needs to look like ancient 1980s TVs or with some vanity border to make the game smaller to be "authentic", please don't :)

*Which is probably sadly 97% of Windows users.  Come on guys, it's essentially DOS.

I think you never had a gameboy.

Offline martTM

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Re: Retroarch
« Reply #14: July 22, 2015, 09:18:51 AM »
(with optional frontends available for those amateurs* scared of the command line)

*Which is probably sadly 97% of Windows users.  Come on guys, it's essentially DOS.

Would you like to put your nose in the air any higher, maybe?

I'm not scared of command lines, I just can't be bothered. So, that means I should miss out, does it? Pfft.